And I got a little bit more than tipsy.
I brought two bottles of wine to our family gathering to share and ended up only sharing one and drinking the other myself. If you know me, you know that me having any drink is a pretty rare occasion. Drinking most of a bottle of wine was certainly something exceptional.
I felt delightfully silly that evening on the way home while shoving ham and fresh bun sandwiches in my pie hole. And I felt exceptionally like crap the next morning as one would expect when the girl that never drinks decides to tie one on.
Let me remind you that this was Easter. Not some night out on the town or celebration. This was a family gathering. What started out as enjoying a small taste of port turned into the realization that I could escape my feelings of discomfort with just a few more sips.
I am an INFJ, and empath and a highly-sensitive person. I am affected by other people's energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. And I am greatly impacted by all of the sights, sounds, smells and energy of an environment that I am in.
These are traits that make me really good at somethings such as helping other people, being a good listener, and creating meaningful connections...But not so good at other things like being the life of the party or social butterfly for long periods. So when I found myself at a large family gathering with a very dynamic group of people that Easter, I escaped through a few drinks.
I had never done that with alcohol before, and I haven't since. But when I started thinking about other patterns of eating in social situations, I could see that there were tendencies to deviate from my normally healthy habits and fill voids with sweets, treats and just plain too much food.
Many of us do this on a regular basis. We use food to fill voids or to "stuff" when there are upsets in life that we experience - sometimes with being aware of what those are or more often than not, with no conscientious connection to what's happening.
Because of our increased time with family this time of year, we need to be especially connected to how we treat our bodies through the holiday season. Our family connections can often be a place of hurt or stress and can trigger unintended binge eating or drinking. While this isn't intended to take the place of professional counseling advice, there are some things that I have learned to do for myself to honor my needs for space, restorative time, and less commotion. By practicing these things, I feel better and live better.
1) Do not over-extend yourself. This coming weekend, there are several invites on the calendar between a party, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For me, that's a lot. If you are someone that is not renewed by being around people, you may have to trim your list of where you go or create some boundaries around how long you stay.
2) Balance your "out there" time with your need for restorative downtime. Yesterday, after a lovely weekend at home with my kiddos and husband, I sent them away to the movies in the afternoon while I took my dog for a hike in the snow. I knew that I needed some alone time with peace and quiet. Be sure to carve out the time for what's important to you.
3) Eat well. After many years of not doing this and throwing caution to the wind around the holidays, I gratefully accept the challenge every year to try and do my best with eating and exercise. Stay connected to healthy eating, stay hydrated and always have a plan.
4) Get some sleep. It's easy to feel frazzled and burn the candle at both ends with a long to-do list. Try your best to stay organized so that sleep can stay a priority. Pay attention to what time of day you feel best and adjust your sleep schedule accordingly. I am a morning person and not productive after 6 PM. I do best to go to bed early and wake early if I have a few extra things to do.
5) Communicate your needs. This should be #1 on the list. If you don't share your needs with others, it is easy to have an upset when your needs are not being met. Be sure to tell your support people in your life how they can help you establish the boundaries that you will need to stay feeling your best.